The statement and information below come directly off the Tristan da Cunha official website, www.tristandc.com
We’d like to take this opportunity to extend our sympathies to the family of Edward Hulley and wish them strength during this difficult time.
Statement from Tristan Administrator David Morley sent Friday 28th September 19.46 GMT
” On the morning of Friday 28 September 2007 the Administrator on Tristan da Cunha was made aware of an incident that led to a death on board the SA Agulhas, a South African research vessel, on Thursday 27 September 2007. This involved two South African nationals and occurred near Gough Island, part of the Tristan da Cunha group. With support from London, the Tristan Administrator ensured all necessary steps were taken and appropriate support given. The South African authorities have been informed.
” The Acting Governor on the advice of the Acting Attorney General instructed the Tristan Administrator to inform the skipper of the Agulhas that the deceased and accused will not be able to disembark on to Tristan. There are inadequate resources and facilities on Tristan, to fully safeguard the welfare and rights of such a detained person, or provide the proper and appropriate assistance. In addition given that the ship, its crew, the deceased and the accused are all of South African origin, there are complex jurisdictional issues. It was considered essential that the vessel should return to South Africa where a thorough investigation could be carried out.”
” Administrator David Morley spent most of the day dealing with this, speaking on the telephone to the Attorney General in St Helena as well as the FCO in London and the Master of the Agulhas. David learnt on Friday afternoon that the Agulhas was returning to Gough Island to continue its work there. Later on Friday he received confirmation from the Agulhas Master that a South African naval vessel will rendezvous with the Agulhas at Gough and disembark the accused and the body of the deceased. On Friday evening David took the opportunity presented by a social function at the Recreation Hall to brief the community on what has happened and was able to confirm that the Agulhas’ return trip to Cape Town via Tristan is back on schedule.”
We publish the following from a media statement issued by the South Africa Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and SMIT Amandla Marine (Pty) Ltd on Friday 28th September :
Following a non-work related incident on board the Antarctica Supply Vessel ‘S.A. Agulhas’ in the early hours of this morning, we regret to advise of the death of one of the crew members, 22 year old Edward Robert Hulley. Mr Hulley served as an Ordinary Seaman (OS) aboard the ‘S.A. Agulhas’ and his next of kin has been informed.
The incident is currently under investigation by the South African Police Service, who have already begun preliminary investigations from Cape Town .
Saturday 29th September
It is understood that the South African environmental protection vessel, Sarah Baartman, was leaving Table Bay on Saturday 29th September to rendezvous with the SA Agulhas next week. It is expected that this will be at Gough Island and that the victim and two accused will be transferred from SA Agulhas to Sarah Baartman and then transported back to Cape Town.
Sarah Baartman was commissioned in 2005, is capable of speeds in excess of 20 knots and can carry a Super Puma/Oryx helicopter.
SA Agulhas Schedule
SA Agulhas Departed Cape Town at 14.00 on Thursday 6th September for its annual relief voyage to Gough Island via Tristan da Cunha. It arrived off Tristan at around 1200 on Wednesday 12th September, and after a short offloading period departed Tristan da Cunha anchorage for Gough Island in deteriorating weather on Thursday 13th September. SA Agulhas was due back around 4/5 October to continue off-loading cargo prior to departure for Cape Town scheduled for Monday 8th October.